FAQs

Campus Reopening 2020

General questions

1. When did IE University first take action to address the health crisis?

In February 2020, IE University launched an action plan to address the health crisis. The aim of this plan was to protect the health of students, faculty, and staff, and guarantee the continuity of academic activities in any given scenario. In the light of events, the Segovia and Madrid campuses began working in hybrid learning models in the last week of February, with students following classes both in person and remotely.

2. How many students have continued their studies 100% online during the health crisis?

More than 7,000 students from 140 countries in all of IE University’s undergraduate and graduate programs have continued their studies 100% online during the pandemic.

3. How has online learning at IE University evolved during the period of global confinement?

IE University has improved the student learning experience with new methods, interactive solutions, tools, and technology platforms. The faculty and program heads have adapted the syllabi, format, and timetables of the academic programs, as well as the assessment methods to take place online, hybrid or face to face to ensure the highest standards.

4. What are the basic principles driving IE University’s approach during the health crisis?

IE University pre-empted the start of the health crisis and established three basic principles: to protect the health of students, faculty, and staff; to guarantee the continuity of academic activities at the same high standards of quality, efficiency, and rigor; and to provide timely, transparent information.

 

Re-opening - Health protocol

 

5. What kind of questions will the health questionnaire include?

The ‘seroprevalence questionnaire’ consists of five parts:

1. Evidence of infection/contact with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and relevant prior medical tests
2. Other illnesses
3. Cohabitation relationship with vulnerable people
4. Current symptoms compatible with the COVID-19 disease
5. History of symptoms

6. Why do you want to conduct a health questionnaire?

COVID-19 is often a symptom-free, or mildly symptomatic, disease for many whom it infects, but it can become serious for individuals with underlying conditions or other risk factors (cardiovascular, pulmonary, kidney diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, immunodeficiencies, pregnancy, etc.). In addition to possible personal conditions, it is necessary to consider whether people with whom you live might be vulnerable. Accordingly, and in order to tailor health recommendations to the specific situation of each member of the IE community, it is important to determine these socio-health conditions.

7. How is the questionnaire completed?

Students, faculty, and staff should complete the health questionnaire on the COVID-19 Tracer Web App. This application will also collect the results of the tests carried out and log the daily record of possible COVID-19 symptoms inputted by all the members of the IE community who plan to return to campus.

8. Will students, faculty, and staff be tested to confirm possible infection or immunity?

Yes. After completing the initial questionnaire, those students, faculty, and staff who intend to access campus and who have no symptoms compatible with COVID-19 at that time will be asked to take a antigen test.

9. What type of test? Why?

You will need to take an antigen test. This test quantifies the antibodies produced by individuals in response to an infection and shows whether a person has been in contact with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and, if so, whether the infection is still active but has no symptoms, or is in remission.

10. What decisions will be made based on the assessments and medical tests?

The results of the antigen test will be added to the information gathered by the individual’s questionnaire. This comprehensive information will enable the medical service to make three types of recommendations for IE community members:

1. When the antigen test reveals active infection, individuals need to self-isolate at home where they should temporarily follow course programs online and telework. In these cases, access to the campus will not be permitted and the medical service will activate an individual tracking protocol until the infection disappears and the patient is medically cleared. Spanish legislation requires that all COVID-19 cases be reported to the public health authorities; the campus medical service will report the case on behalf of the IE community member.

2. When the test is negative, and in the absence of any type of antibody, and there are no compatible COVID-19 symptoms or when the infection has gone into remission, individuals will have full access to the campus. Each day before accessing the campus, all individuals who receive this recommendation must take a daily self-assessment of symptoms and log the results in the University’s COVID-19 Tracer Web App.

3. Finally, individuals who are not infected and do not have compatible COVID-19 symptoms, but have prior medical conditions that make them more vulnerable or live with vulnerable people, will be advised to continue their program or their work remotely.

11. Will the medical team be using real-time PCR tests in any cases?

Yes. People with symptoms that are compatible with COVID-19 on the date of the antigen test will be considered as “suspected cases” by the medical team and will be individually monitored.

In these cases, the medical team will perform a test to detect viral RNA by RT-PCR. These people will also be instructed to self-isolate at home, unless there are grounds to suggest otherwise, and to continue with their programs online whenever possible, depending on their state of health, until the COVID-19 diagnosis is ruled out or the patient is medically cleared.

 

12. How should I use the hand sanitizer? What hand hygiene guidelines should I follow?

Hand washing is one of the best and most effective ways to prevent the spread of the epidemic and minimize transmission of SARS-CoV-2 virus and other infections. Hygiene recommendations should be followed both on the IE University campus and throughout the day, in any environment.  The WHO’s recommendations can be found here: WHO Hand Hygiene, and at the end of this document.

13. How should I take my temperature?

COVID-19 is not the only disease that involves an increase in body temperature. However, this symptom is found in more than 80% of the cases of infection and is one of the easiest parameters that people can use to monitor their own health.

14. How should I use the digital thermometer?

Avoid hot drinks, physical exercise, and hot showers before taking your temperature.

Once you have decided where you are going to take your temperature (underarm, mouth, etc.), the probe (the end of the thermometer that measures the temperature) must be correctly put in place. In the case of the underarm, the probe must be placed vertically in the underarm fold. In the case of the mouth, the probe must be inserted under the tongue and the mouth must be closed firmly.

15. What is the temperature that denotes a fever?

The temperature measurement results will enable us to confirm:

  • Normal temperature: less than 37.4ºC (99.3ºF)
  • Low-grade fever: between 37.4ºC and less than 37.8ºC (99.3ºF – 100ºF)
  • High-grade fever: over 37.8ºC (100ºF)

16. Will thermographic cameras be installed at the building entrances?

Yes. IE University has installed thermographic cameras at the entrances of the respective buildings in order to check whether any IE community members have a fever. Should an individual have an above-normal temperature, he or she must return home in accordance with their ethical commitment to the health of others, and the medical service will be notified so that the “suspected case” protocol can be activated.

COVID-19 is not the only disease that involves an increase in body temperature. However, this symptom is found in more than 80% of the cases of infection and is one of the easiest parameters that people can use to monitor their own health.

17. How will we be able to report our state of health on a daily basis?

IE University has developed a COVID-19 Tracer Web App on the Servicenow platform to centralize all data from the questionnaire, information from the antigen tests completed by the health services, and symptoms data.

18. What kind of information will be available on the COVID-19 Tracer Web App?

The Web App will inform the student and IE University of the type of recommendation issued by the medical service regarding access to the campus.

The Web App will also include a symptom form that each user must complete in order to monitor and re-assess their individual situation.

The Web App will collect and provide access to relevant information about the COVID-19 virus, as well as the rules of coexistence on campus and health recommendations.

19. What level of privacy will my personal health data included in the COVID-19 Tracer Web App receive?

The data collected in the Web App will only be accessible to each individual who, in accordance with Spanish legislation, is the sole owner of his/her data. The external IE University medical service may also be given access to the data if authorized.

20. What kind of information should I log into the COVID-19 Tracer Web App every day?

Each member of the IE community is required to make a daily self-assessment of COVID-19 compatible symptoms before accessing the campus. The Web App contains a form that students, faculty, and staff must fill out daily to report symptoms that may be compatible with the virus so that they can be monitored by the medical service.

When the medical service detects a “suspected case,” it will activate the individual tracking protocol and will follow up on the suspected case’s contacts, paying particular attention to their classmates, and especially to those who have been sitting near and around them.

21. Is it mandatory to wear a face mask inside the buildings?

Every individual accessing the campus must wear a protective mask at all times. Face masks do not entirely prevent contagion but they significantly reduce the possibility, particularly when everyone wears them. Faculty can deliver classes without a mask if they are separated from students by protective screens.

22. What type of mask should I use based on my state of health?

Recommendations for the use of face masks (*Source: Spanish Health Ministry):

Surgical or medical face mask (approved medical device):

– People with COVID-19 symptoms or diagnosis [1,2]:

  • When: When a person enters a room or is attended to at a distance of less than 2 meters.
  • Why: Surgical masks reduce the release of respiratory droplets into the air, thus preventing the transmission of the virus to other people.

– People who have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days:

  • When: When they are at home with people they live with and if they have to go outside.

– People looking after COVID-19 patients [3,4,5,6]:

  • When: When looking after a patient at a distance of less than 2 meters. The patient should also wear a surgical mask.
  • Why: Surgical masks have a barrier effect if used properly and are associated with preventive measures.

– Vulnerable people [people over 60, with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease, cancer, immunodeficiency, and pregnant women, as a precautionary principle]:

  • When: When going outside or coming into contact with other people.
 
Community or hygiene face masks (non-medical device, self-made or commercial)

– Generally healthy population [not in contact with COVID-19 patients] [7, 8, 9, 10, 11]:

  • When:
    • When physical distancing measures cannot be maintained in situations such as commuting to work going shopping, or in enclosed spaces.
    • When using public transport.
  • Why: The use of hygiene masks may help to reduce transmission by people without symptoms or with mild symptoms, provided that this is combined with other preventive measures.
 
Mask not advised

– Children under 3 years of age, people who have trouble breathing and people who have difficulty removing their mask without assistance [12, 13]:

  • When: A mask should not be worn unless recommended by a healthcare professional.
  • Why: For masks to have a barrier effect they must fit the face snugly and allow proper breathing. Precautions must also be taken to ensure that masks are used correctly.

23. Will hand sanitizer dispensers be installed on-site?

Yes. To facilitate hand hygiene, hand sanitizer will be given out for personal use and hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed in IE University buildings.

24. What physical distancing measures must I follow?

From an epidemiological point of view, the concentration of people in small spaces is a risk factor for transmission during an infectious disease outbreak, especially when it is transmitted by respiratory droplets as is the case here. In addition, the existence of group transmission of the infection is exacerbated by patients who have no or only very mild symptoms.

Therefore, and taking into consideration the way these droplets are dispersed, physical distancing of more than 1.5 meters is recommended to reduce the risk of contagion.

25. What measures should I take into account when entering and leaving classrooms?

Students must enter the classroom in an orderly manner, maintaining minimum physical distancing of 1.5 meters from their classmates, faculty, and staff. Crowding must be avoided and blocking entrances is strictly prohibited. Once in the classroom, each student shall sit down and remain in his/her seat until the faculty member arrives.

The faculty members shall be the last to enter the classrooms and the first to leave. Any queries that have not been answered during the session will be resolved online, by e-mail or by the video-conferencing systems available to students. Once the faculty member has arrived in the classroom, no student will be allowed to enter. Both the faculty member’s and the students’ desks must be cleared after each class to make it easier for IE University’s service staff to clean.

26. When will I be able to resume my classroom sessions if I have the COVID-19 virus?

Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 after taking the antigen test should observe home isolation, so long as the home environment meets isolation requirements. An RT-PCR test will also be performed to confirm the positive antigen test result. These individuals can return to campus after 14 days of isolation from the date of diagnosis if they no longer have any symptoms. An additional RT-PCR test will be provided at this point in order to ensure that the case is in remission. If the second RT-PCR test is positive, home isolation should continue for an additional seven days, after which the individual will take another RT-PCR test.

The health authorities will be informed of the confirmed case of COVID-19 and the individual and his or her symptoms will be actively monitored throughout the period of home isolation.

It is important to clarify that the definitive lifting of isolation restrictions is the responsibility of the public health authority in each autonomous region.

27. When will I be able to resume my classroom sessions if I have compatible symptoms on the date scheduled for the antigen test and am therefore considered as a “suspected case”?

Individuals with compatible COVID-19 symptoms on the date of the antigen test should observe home isolation, so long as the home environment meets isolation requirements. An RT-PCR test will be provided to confirm the diagnosis and, in the event of a positive result, Home isolation should be maintained for up to 14 days since the onset of symptoms. After this period of 14 days, an additional RT-PCR test will be provided and if the result is still positive, home isolation should continue for an additional seven days, after which the individual will take another RT-PCR test.

It is important to clarify that the definitive lifting of isolation restrictions is the responsibility of the public health authority in each autonomous region.

28. Is it mandatory to comply with the rules of coexistence? What measures will be taken if someone breaks these rules?

All the rules of conduct set out in this document will be mandatory to ensure that community members make an ethical commitment to the health of others.

29. How should I behave outside IE University in order to safeguard my health and that of others?

All the recommended hygiene measures become useless if they are not also applied outside the IE University campus. The risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection is present in many day-to-day activities (transport, shopping, sport, etc.) and until an effective vaccine becomes available, compliance with hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and physical distancing are the most effective tools for protecting people.  Thus it is important to constantly maintain these measures throughout the day, no matter the situation and environment.

Upon returning to campus

30. What health-related steps should I take in planning my return/access to campus?

1. Register with the COVID-19 Tracer Web App 15 days prior to arrival on campus.

2. Complete data regarding health and symptoms status on the Web App, including the daily symptoms questionnaire.

3. Between 7 and 4 days prior to arrival on campus, individuals must take an antigen test in a clinical laboratory. Please confirm with the laboratory, in advance of the test, how long the wait is to receive your test results, as it is important to have confirmation, prior to the date of travel, that there is no active COVID-19 infection. It is also likely that, when traveling by plane, the airline will require a antigen test or PCR.  Do not travel if COVID-19 compatible symptoms are present, for your safety and the safety of others.

4. If it is impossible to carry out a antigen test before arriving in Madrid or Segovia, the IE University Medical Service will obtain an appointment with an accredited laboratory with whom the university has an agreement regarding quality and cost. Regardless, it is important to avoid traveling in the event of symptoms compatible with COVID-19 or if you have been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case in the 14 days prior to the trip.

5. Day 1 on campus: We look forward to welcoming you! You are expected to arrive with the following:

  • Antigen test results uploaded to the COVID-19 Tracer Web App
  • No COVID-19 compatible symptoms, and
  • A mask.

Redesigning the facilities

31. How are people flows inside buildings going to be handled?

The most effective measure during the period of de-escalation is physical distancing. In order to avoid direct contact with other members of the community, separate one-way entry and exit routes have been set up to prevent facility users from crossing paths and to maintain the appropriate physical distance at all times.

32. Will there be signposted routes inside the buildings to regulate people flows?

Yes. We will signpost one-way routes in the buildings. The IE University security team will ensure compliance.

33. What kind of protective measures will there be for staff that interact with the public?

As an additional barrier, staff who have regular contact with the public will have plastic screens fitted to their workstations to protect them.

34. Will the cafeteria and vending areas be partitioned off?

Yes. Protective panels and partitions have been installed in the vending and cafeteria areas.

35. Can we use the elevators? What about restrooms?

Given that elevators are confined spaces and offer poor ventilation, they will be used on an individual basis only, except in the case of people with reduced mobility who need assistance to operate them.

Community members are encouraged to use the stairs to prevent people from gathering as they wait for the elevator.

Restroom access will also be restricted. Only one person will be allowed to use the restroom at a time.

36. How will the rules of coexistence be enforced?

Security and reception staff have been provided with guidelines on how to handle different scenarios, measures to be implemented if possible cases are detected, and procedures to ensure compliance with legislation.

37. How will the buildings be ventilated?

To contain the spread of respiratory infection, it is advisable to adapt and optimize measures aimed at improving air quality [air renewal and filtering] inside buildings. This renewal will help purify suspended micro-droplets.

To this end, three basic measures have been implemented:

– cleaning and sanitization of air filters

– replacement of any unreliable filters

– elimination of means used to reutilize air in favor of maximum ventilation with fresh air.

In order to improve ventilation, as many doors and windows as possible will remain open. This measure also reduces the use of doorknobs and door handles and repeated door contact, thus minimizing transmission.

38. What are the cleaning and disinfection measures for IE University’s facilities in this phase?

The transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus through its ability to survive for hours or days on surfaces makes it necessary to establish protocols for additional cleaning and disinfection of spaces and surfaces using specific disinfectants to reduce the risk of infection.

IE University has procured the appropriate cleaning products and supplies and has increased the number of staff available to clean the classrooms after each 90 minute session. This cleaning process pays special attention to the frequently touched surfaces such as handrails, doorknobs and door handles, access buttons, etc., as described in the document “Recommendations for cleaning surfaces ie_coronavir19” drawn up by the health services.

Finally, IE University has developed specific protocols for cleaning staff, reinforcing both the hygiene of the facilities and the personal protection and safe interaction of these teams with the environment, given that their work puts them at risk of infection and spreading infection.

Liquid Learning

39. What kind of learning model will IE University be promoting after it’s re-opening?

IE University has developed a unique liquid learning model with the aim of transforming the education landscape.

With the new model, programs will have an innovative design that integrates classes on campus for all of IE University’s students, who currently hail from 140 countries.  Hybrid sessions will simultaneously connect face-to-face students with online students for the same immersive experience and academic quality. In addition, asynchronous sessions will allow the development of individual work with the support of faculty.

This new format will provide flexibility to students and reinforce active and personalized learning, and focuses on solving real world problems.  IE University has redesigned all courses with new methodologies, contents, and academic materials to adapt the programs to this new model of liquid learning.  The institution is also redesigning its facilities and equipping classrooms with technological solutions that enhance interaction.

40. How will the hybrid format be implemented in the classroom?

All real-time sessions can be followed simultaneously in person and remotely. In order to improve the educational experience and the integration of the classroom students with online students, IE University has reinforced its technological resources and set up protocols to encourage the technological immersion of students and guarantee a premium academic experience.

Devices have been installed in strategic locations to provide a broad view of the classroom, the faculty member and the teaching resources and materials. The web cameras will give remote students excellent visibility and immersion in the classroom experience. Microphones have been installed to relay and record the voices of the faculty member and of other students during the sessions. In addition, classrooms have been equipped with an extra screen so the faculty member and students can see the students connected remotely.

We will be using videoconferencing systems, as they allow excellent interaction between users and the visibility of all students in a class simultaneously. We will be working with the Zoom video conferencing system, though other systems are also compatible.

The faculty will be continuously supported by the program heads and by the IT support teams who will ensure the sessions run smoothly.

Any work that needs to be done in groups will be conducted online, as the availability of workspaces will be limited in order to guarantee distancing measures. These areas will be reserved for use as a study or work area for students who do not have access to basic study conditions at home.

41. How will the classroom occupancy rate be managed?

Students must always leave a free seat between them and the next student, and seats will be marked accordingly, as shown in the diagram below:

ie-classroomrate-final

If seating issues make it impossible for all students to physically attend a session, one of three measures will be taken, in this order of preference. The strategy is to:

  • Divide the number of students studying the subject into two groups and teach the session(s) twice.
  • Move the sessions to a larger room in order to ensure distancing measures can be maintained.
  • Arrange to take turns to physically attend the sessions, working with the students and the program heads to organize this.

Class times in adjacent classrooms will be scheduled so that students do not coincide in the corridors and communal areas before or after their classes.

Applicants FAQs

These pages provide answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive from candidates and/or students.

Master programs

Applicants FAQs

Undergraduate programs

Applicants FAQs

Q&AS ON COVID-19

What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus was unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China in December 2019.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

According to the World Health Organization, the most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell.

Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart problems, or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. To date, about 2% of people with the disease have died. People who experience fever, cough, and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

symptoms-1024x205

How does COVID-19 spread?

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces and then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.

The World Health Organization is assessing ongoing research on the ways in which COVID-19 spreads.

Can COVID-19 be caught from a person who has no symptoms?

The main way the disease spreads is through respiratory droplets expelled by someone who is coughing. The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. However, many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true at the early stages of the disease. It is therefore possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill. WHO is assessing ongoing research on the period of transmission of COVID-19.

Protection measures for everyone

Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority.

Please take care of your health and protect others by doing the following:

• Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water or clean them with an alcohol-based hand rub. Why? This kills the viruses that may be on your hands.

• Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you could breathe in the droplets and the COVID-19 virus, if the person coughing has the disease.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Why? Throughout the day, we touch many surfaces that might have the virus on them. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose, or mouth and from there, the virus easily enters your body.

• Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the used tissue immediately. Why? By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from the droplets that might contain viruses such as cold, flu, and COVID-19.

• Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention. Be sure to call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority. Why? National and local authorities have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance allows your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right facility while helping to minimize your contact with others and prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.

• Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority, or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Why? National and local authorities have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.

How long is the incubation period for COVID-19?

The “incubation period” is the time between catching the virus and when symptoms begin. Most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range from 1-14 days, most commonly around 5 days. These estimates will be updated as more data become available.

How long does the virus survive on surfaces?

It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).

If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.